Useful Notes / Europe

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/europe_5418.jpg
Daughter of Elysium
"Whatever else may divide us, Europe is our common home; a common fate has linked us through the centuries, and it continues to link us today."

The sixth largest continent of the world, Europe in the last millennium nonetheless became the crucible of contemporary civilization. Kingdoms, Empires and states on this continent developed rapidly and progressively in technology, knowledge, society and politics, which coupled with their maritime powers, led them to project themselves across the world. There is little in the world that has not come into contact with Europe, that has not been affected by its policies and its legacies. They are primarily responsible for the settlements of North and South America, and their colonial outposts in these regions (which they called "the New World") have gone on to become major population centers and great nations in their own right. In addition, their colonial conquests played a major role in the modernization and development of Asia, Africa and Oceania to the point that European languages have been exported around the world and are now spoken by far more non-Europeans than Europeans themselves. Likewise the names of every other continent and most nations and landmasses were coined by Europeans in ancient, medieval and modern times. It is quite impossible to understand our world without a good understanding of European history and society, and the very word "Eurocentric", coined to signify and escape its overwhelming influence, pays homage and reinforces its central role in modern consciousness.

Europe is considered the center and progenitor of Western civilization, burdened with a civilizing mission that often undergirded its conquests and settlements of other lands and peoples. While Europe is the source of a lot of cultural and political achievements and many modern inventions used today, it also has a dark and bloody history full of conflict, particularly between major powers on the continent. The Continent boasts an astonishing legacy of cultural, intellectual and social advancement, being the center of The Renaissance, The Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the scientific revolution, alongside our contemporary Political Ideologies, but has also been a battlefield for a large portion of history, and was the primary terrain of World War I and World War II, the two most destructive wars so far in history. The global influence of Europe worldwide after World War I also heavily declined as a result of tremendous loss of life and damage taken during the war, particularly to infrastructure, resources and military power, and would decline even further during and after World War II, with even more lives being lost and damage being done, as well as the colonial powers all losing control of their colonies, resulting in the United Kingdom and France losing their global Superpower statuses. North American global influence would surge upwards worldwide as a result of this and not taking nearly as much damage as Europe and Asia did during the wars, and North America would soon replace Europe's old role as the custodian of Western culture, with the United States in particular coming into prominence as one of the only two Superpowers left after the World Wars, the other being the Soviet Union. In addition, the US had sustained very little damage in the war and had a lot more allies in contrast to the Soviet Union. Europe would finally find long-lasting peace after World War II (With the exception of The Yugoslav Wars), though would spend a lot of that peace split into two halves by the United States and the Soviet Union, with the US-allied countries forming NATO and the Soviet Union-allied countries forming the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Union would later collapse in the 90's, dissolving the Warsaw Pact, reuniting the two halves of the continent and leaving the United States as the only current Superpower. The history of Europe is equal parts glorious and equal parts tragic. Fittingly enough, the name "Europe" is derived from the name of the mythical rape victim Europa.

Since the designation of lands as continents is arbitrary, the territorial extent of Europe is largely a political and economic designation rather than a geographical one. Europe's biggest country with its largest population is Russia, which is a transcontinental state that extends from Eastern Europe all the way across North Asia to the Pacific Coast where it shares land and sea borders with Japan, China, North Korea and the United States of America. Turkey is another transcontinental state that historically and culturally has played a major role in Europe and Asia but for cultural, nationalistic and religious reasons is generally not considered European. There are also other states that are usually considered European for cultural rather than geographical reasons (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Cyprus and Armenia), despite being in the case of the latter two geographically entirely Asian. Furthermore, there is no true continental divide between Europe and Asia, (hence "Eurasian tectonic plate") and some even regard Europe as an Asian subcontinent with delusions of grandeur. What defines Europe is the common interconnected intricate history, where various Kingdoms and Empires were at various times colonized, conquered, settled and occupied by one or another, a common experience that they then exported to the rest of the planet. So how one defines Europe is likely to speak one's own political and social views — for example, The Iron Man includes the line "all the countries of Europe can fit easily into Australia", which may confuse many modern readers unless they know that, to Ted Hughes, "Europe" stopped at the Iron Curtain — as much as it is a cold geographical assessment. Even areas whose "Europeanness" are unambiguous to non-Europeans, such as the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia west of the Urals, the Caucasus, etc — are regarded by its own residents as being apart or different from the continent. Europe is also sometimes merged with Asia as Eurasia or Africa and Asia as Afro-Eurasia, which makes geographical sense but is not quite acceptable politically.

For the list of tropes related to Europe and Europeans, see the Europe Index.

If you're looking for the Swedish rock band, click here or in the "Music" link up there.

Countries (Note: EU member states marked with an asterisk (*), Eurozone members marked with a Euro sign (€), non-Eurozone Euro users marked with a Euro sign and exclamation point (€!)):

Western Europe

Capital: Brussels
Largest City: Antwerp
Capital and Largest City: Paris
Capital and Largest City: Luxembourg
Capital and Largest City: Monaco
Capital and Largest City: Amsterdam

Southern Europe

Capital and Largest City: Tirana
Capital and Largest City: Andorra La Vella
Capital and Largest City: Sarajevo
Capital and Largest City: Zagreb
  • Cyprus *€ (Geographically a part of Western Asia, culturally a part of Southern Europe)
Capital and Largest City: Nicosia
Capital and Largest City: Athens
Capital and Largest City: Rome
Capital and Largest City: Skopje
Capital: Valletta
Largest City: Birkirkara
Capital and Largest City: Podgorica
Capital and Largest City: Lisbon
Capitol: San Marino
Largest City: Dogana
Capital and Largest City: Belgrade
Capital and Largest City: Madrid
Capital: Ankara
Largest City: Istanbul
Capital and Largest City: Vatican City

Northern Europe

Capital and Largest City: Copenhagen
Capital and Largest City: Tallinn
Capital and Largest City: Helsinki
Capital and Largest City: Reykjavik
Capital and Largest City: Dublin
Capital and Largest City: Riga
Capital and Largest City: Vilnius
Capital and Largest City: Oslo
Capital and Largest City: Stockholm
Capital and Largest City: London

Central Europe

Capital and Largest City: Vienna
Capital and Largest City: Prague
Capital and Largest City: Berlin
Capital and Largest City: Budapest
Capital: Vaduz
Largest City: Schaan
Capital and Largest City: Warsaw
Capital and Largest City: Bratislava
Capital and Largest City: Ljubljana
Capital: Bern
Largest City: Zürich

Eastern Europe

  • Armenia (Geographically a part of Western Asia, culturally a part of both Eastern Europe and Western Asia)
Capital and Largest City: Yerevan
Capital and Largest City: Baku
Capital and Largest City: Minsk
Capital and Largest City: Sofia
Capitals: Tbilisi (national), Kutaisi (legislative)
Largest City: Tbilisi
Capital: Astana
Largest City: Almaty
Capital and Largest City: Chisinau
Capital and Largest City: Bucharest
Capital and Largest City: Moscow
Capital and Largest City: Kiev

Other entities:

Capital and Largest City: Sukhumi
Capital and Largest City: Pristina
Capital and Largest City: Stepanakert
Capital and Largest City: North Nicosia
Capital and Largest City: Tskhinvali
Capital and Largest City: Tiraspol

Territories

Capital and Largest City: Episkopi Cantonment
Capital and Largest City: Tórshavn
Capital and Largest City: Gibraltar
Capital and Largest City: St. Peter Port
Capital and Largest City: Douglas
Capital and Largest City: Saint Helier

Defunct Countries, Empires, States and other entities

Useful Notes and other articles related to Europeans and European culture

Europe in General

Western Europe

See France for everything solely related to France

Southern Europe

See Italy and Spain for everything solely related to those countries

Eastern Europe

See Russia for everything solely related to Russia

Northern Europe

See Ireland and United Kingdom for everything related to those countries

Central Europe

See Germany for everything related to Germany
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Europe